McKinley 21, Austintown Fitch 24 (Sep 17-2010)
Federal League game at
Falcon Stadium, Austintown
Fitch finds a way, rallies past McKinley
Published: Sat, September 18, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.By JOE SCALZO
AUSTINTOWN - As his team gathered just past the end zone to sing the schoolâ€™s fight song, Fitch football coach Phil Annarella stood a few feet away, accepting hugs, sighing relief and laughing, "I'm too old for this. I'm too freaking old for this."
In the gameâ€™s final minute, Annarella had seen his team's momentum, its hopes for a perfect season and, possibly, its Federal League title chances fall away as Canton McKinley quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky threw a pass into the end zone and into the lap of his intended receiver.
It was a touchdown. And then it wasn't.
At the last second, Fitch defensive back Lucas Haupt dove in and knocked it away. Officially, the Bulldogs still had one more play -- a fourth down at their own 23 -- but the damage was done. McKinley had its shot and seemed to know it, as Ohradzanskyâ€™s final pass was well off the mark.
"We had the ball caught in the end zone and dropped it," said McKinley coach Ron Johnson following the 24-21 defeat on Friday. "It's a great play on their DBâ€™s part."
For the first 21â€šÃ‘2 quarters, McKinley had the lead (21-7) and, seemingly, the game in hand. But Fitch scored two touchdowns in just over five minutes -- the second on a 47-yard catch and run by junior Chris Davis -- to tie the game with 10 minutes left.
After a McKinley punt gave the Falcons the ball back at their own 1, the Bulldogs had a chance to regain the momentum after stuffing Fitch for two yards in two plays.
But on third-and-8 from his own 3, Fitch quarterback Demitrious Davis scrambled away from pressure and found Will Mahone for a 13-yard gain.
Suddenly, Fitchâ€™s offense started clicking, quickly moving the ball downfield before McKinley's tired defense had time to set.
â€œWhen we get into a flow, we keep things going pretty darn fast," said Annarella. "We kind of take the game away from their coaches. They have to get set and call defenses on their own.
â€œThey get a little tired and That's the whole premise of our offense."
The 18-play, 94-yard drive finally stalled at the Bulldogs' 5, setting up a 22-yard field goal by Ken Kirpatrick with 1:52 left.
McKinley drove from its own 43 to the Fitch 23 in two plays before four straight incompletions ended the game.
"I think it showed how much heart and fight we have," said Fitch senior OL/DL Steve Zaborsky, who stepped in at right tackle in the second half despite fighting a left knee injury. "We all worked together as a team and That's what we want. No individuals."
Demetrious Davis carried 25 times for 69 yards for Fitch (4-0, 1-0). He also completed 10 of 21 passes for 126 yards and two TDs. While the Falcons twice had first and goal at the 1 and failed to score a touchdown -- "We'll get that fixed," Annarella said -- they proved they can gut out a close game after winning three blowouts to start the season.
â€œBefore the game, all we ask the kids to do is, no matter what happens during the game, just keep fighting. don't quit. Just keep battling until the very end," said Annarella. â€œAnd they did that.
"We're down 21-7, we could have easily packed it in and it could have been over. I can't say how proud I am of the effort."
Sa'Veon Holloway led McKinley (2-0, 0-1) with 74 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown as he subbed for McKinley's top back, Elijah Farrakhan.
Ohradzansky was 11 of 20 for 162 yards, finding Christian Thompson four times for 82 yards.
â€œThey made plays and we didn't finish," said Johnson. "I don't want to take anything away from Fitch.
â€œPhil did a great job."
FridayNightOhio.com Game Recap
AUSTINTOWN Fitch rallied from a 14-point deficit to hit a late field goal and hand McKinley its second straight loss, 24-21.
Ken Kilpatrick hit a 22-yard field goal with 1:52 left to ap a 94-yard Falcon drive. They took over at their own 1 with 7:48 and drove nearly the length of the field to set up the winning field goal.
McKinley got as close as the Fitch 24 in the final minute, but could not erase its deficit.
Bulldog quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky ran for two touchdowns and was 12-of-21 passing for 192 yards. Christian Thompson caught four passes for 83 yards for the Bulldogs.
Sa'Veon Holloway led the McKinley rushing attack with 70 yards on 20 carries. Overall, though, the Bulldogs were limited to 54 yards rushing on 36 attempts.
McKinley led 21-7 with 6:29 left in the third before Fitch began its comeback.
Demitrious Davis, Chris Davis and Bruce Reed led the Falcons back.
An 8-yard TD run by Reed cut McKinley's lead to 21-14 entering fourth. Reed rushed for 62 yards on 15 carries.
The Falcons tied the game when Demitrious Davis hit Chris Davis with a 47-yard TD pass in the fourth, setting the stage for their win.
Demitrious Davis rushed for 77 yards on 22 carries and threw for 105 yards.
McKinley's Farrakhan questionable this week
Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
McKinley senior running back Elijah Farrakhan is questionable for Friday nightâ€™s high school football game at Fitch with a knee injury.
"We're not sure about Friday, but everythingâ€™s looking good," McKinley coach Ron Johnson said about Farrakhan, who injured the knee in the first quarter of last weekâ€™s loss to Lake. "We don't know if he can go hard yet."
The 5-foot-9, 192-pound Farrakhan leads the Bulldogs (2-1, 0-1) in rushing with 287 yards at 5.6 a carry and four touchdowns. Sa'Veon Holloway, a 5-11, 197-pound junior, rushed for 56 yards and two TDs in Farrakhanâ€™s absence last week.
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